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Super2000 Taskforce's job explained

Why the Super 2000 Taskforce was set up, and its terms of reference.

Monday, August 30th 1999, 12:00AM

by Philip Macalister

The Superannuation 2000 Task Force has been established to develop a stable retirement income framework that is flexible enough to cope with a changing environment, and to enable New Zealanders to plan for their retirement with confidence.

By the time current school leavers retire, the percentage of New Zealanders over the age 65 will have almost doubled, as will the costs of providing retirement income and health services. In order to provide certainty in planning for, and during retirement, significant changes are likely to be required to taxation, payment levels, or eligibility criteria.

The Task Force will encourage the development of a widespread consensus, and report to the Government in November 2000 with a specific retirement income strategy. Within the context of other social services, this strategy should take into account the age of eligibility, level of public provision, indexation arrangements, integration of public and private provision, demographic trends, reasonable economic forecasts, fiscal costs, information identified by the reports of the 1991 Task Force on Private Provision for Retirement and the 1997 Periodic Reporting Group and any other relevant work.

The Superannuation 2000 Task Force will:

  • establish a set of policy principles to guide the process;

  • determine a set of policy details and parameters consistent with the long term sustainability of NZS, but broad enough to allow for some evolution;

  • develop a set of agreed modifications to NZS required in the medium term for the transition to long term sustainability and affordability;

  • develop a process for managing change in retirement income policies to reflect changing circumstances over time;

  • establish public support for the proposed retirement income strategy through consultation and a public communications programme;

  • produce a final report containing specific legislative proposals that could be enacted by Parliament;

  • consider the following:

    • the determinants of variations in the living standards of older people such as accommodation and health;

    • linkages among savings, investment and economic growth, and income, net wealth accumulation, and the ability of people to make private provision for retirement;

    • the rates structure for NZS to ensure that it is affordable, efficient and fair for recipients and taxpayers;

    • options for the transition to a sustainable and affordable retirement income system;

    • the interface between retirement incomes and working age benefits;

    • the interface between supplementary assistance and NZS;

    • the age of eligibility;

    • the effects of pre-funding and tax smoothing options on intergenerational equity and on the sustainability of NZS;

    • issues relating to the tax and regulatory environment for the private provision of retirement income;

    • options for introducing greater stability into retirement income policies;

    • a strategic approach towards the long term structure of public provision, the integration of public and private provision, and the provision of New Zealand pensions overseas;

    • such other matters as the Task Force sees fit.
« Why has the PRG report been ignored?Labour outlines its super policy »

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